A chemical peel is a body treatment technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin, often the facial skin, using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off. Facial chemical peels provide brightening, tightening and glow that is often desired for the look of more youthful skin. They are non-invasive, well tolerated with no downtime.

How do chemical peels work?

The application of chemical peels is relatively fast and simple. No sedation or anesthesia is necessary as the patient only experiences a slight stinging once the solution is applied, and the treatment usually lasts from 10 to 15 minutes.

What type of chemical peels are there?

There are three types of peel: superficial, medium and deep, depending on the varying percentages of active ingredients and different PH levels contained therein. The percentage of a peel just indicates how much of the peeling agent is contained in the peel, so a 15% glycolic acid peel has less glycolic acid than a 50% glycolic acid peel. There is a common misconception that high percentage peels can only be done in a medispa or a clinic but although this is not true, there are peels that can be done by a professional at a beauty salon. What matters when it comes to peels is their PH level.

Superficial/Light Peels
Superficial or light peels are the gentlest type of peels available as they only remove the top layer of the skin, known as the epidermis, and can give your skin an instantly brighter look, smoother, and more even texture. They can be used to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, mild acne scarring, age spots and dry or flaking skin. They are usually made from alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids, known as AHAs and BHAs and include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid.

Medium Depth Peels
Usually derived from TCA (trichloroacetic acid), medium depth peels penetrate deeper into the skin and can be used to treat sun damage, pigmentation, and wrinkles. The downside of medium peels is that you will have a longer recovery and more side effects. You may also feel more discomfort during the treatment than you would with a superficial peel including burning and stinging, which can last for 30 minutes to an hour after treatment. In general recovery takes around a week but your skin can be a little bit pink for up to six weeks afterward.

Deep Peels
Deep peels are the strongest type of chemical peel available and can achieve incredible results for sun damage, scarring and deep lines and wrinkles but be prepared with the after effects and the lengthy recovery period. Deep peels usually use carbolic acid (Phenol peels) or high strength TCA to penetrate the deeper layers, or dermal layers, of the skin. However, this type of peel is painful and can take months to recover fully from. Your skin will be very red and feel almost like it is sun burnt after the procedure. Although you will heal in one to three weeks, the redness can still be visible for months after the treatment but the results of the peel are long lasting. Be warned you could also feel quite unwell after a Phenol peel and may need to be sedated during the treatment. For some people, it can take up to two weeks before they want to go out in public. n-invasive, well tolerated with no downtime.